Friday, December 18, 2009

Gay Marriage in DC!

I am extremely proud of my city right now -- Mayor Fenty just signed gay marriage into law. The City Council had to fight some pretty strong opposition, most notably the Catholic Church. The situation there was pretty complex; the city uses a lot of contractors to provide services like homeless shelters, and Catholic Charities is the largest such contractor. In order to qualify as a contractor, they have to follow the same rules the city does on things like discrimination and employee benefits, so they were already prevented from excluding gay people from working for them. Now that gay marriage is legal, they have the additional requirement of recognizing their employees' gay marriages for benefit purposes, which of course completely enrages the bigoted fucktard contingent. It is highly likely that the city is going to lose CC as a contractor, which will be a pretty serious blow; I'm really proud of the Council for being willing to do that in the name of civil rights.

The other thing the city had to overcome, of course, is strong opposition on the bad side of town. Northeast and most of Southeast are both pretty poor and very religious, and that combination has historically correlated to opposition to civil rights. There's been some race-based noise about this, because those neighborhoods happen also to be majority black and Proposition 8 created this "black vs. gay" myth, but the statistics are pretty clear that the correlations with poverty and religiosity are a lot stronger than the correlation with race.

There's still the possibility, of course, that Congress will overturn the bill, but I doubt it. They've got 30 days to it in, and they're on vacation for most of those days, and planning to spend the rest finishing up rewriting the health care bill into a feudal boon for their insurance-industry masters.